• Oct 4, 2006

Popular Mechanics acquired an inside perspective on the upcoming Audi A5 coupe and convertible that we've heard talk of for some time. At an informal dinner in the heart of French-Canada, or more exactly Montreal, Popular Mechanics operatives questioned Audi of America's Executive Vice President, John De Nysschen, about the new model. de Nysschen outlined how the A5 would be positioned above the A4 Cabriolet in Audi's line and the A5 Cabriolet would eventually replace the drop-top A4.

This would place the A5 between the BMW 3-Series and 6-Series, and aim it squarely at the Mercedes-Benz CLK. When the car is launched in the spring of 07 (that's soon) in Europe, it will be offered with Audi's increasingly ubiquitous 4.2-liter V8. Transmission choices will include a six-speed manual, a six-speed automatic, and a new version of the DSG gearbox. Perhaps we will even see a seven-speed second-generation DSG in the new car.

The key difference between the new A5 and the rest of Audi's lineup is that the engine will now be placed behind the front axle. In today's Audi's the engine hangs in front of the front axle, and obviously bringing the engine back will help with mass centralization and front-rear weight balance. We can safely assume the new drivetrain will include Audi's revised Quattro with more rear wheel bias, which will complement the new engine placement.

[Source: Popular Mechanics]

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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 14 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      "The key difference between the new A5 and the rest of Audi's lineup is that the engine will now be placed behind the front axle."

      Not according to the Popular Mechanics article which states:
      "The A5, though, will have its V8 positioned directly above the front axle for much improved weight distribution."
      • 8 Years Ago
      What's up with all this political controversy and use of terminology like "dipshit"?
      For those suffering from francophobia, let me tell you as a former anglophone Montrealer, that French and French-Canadian women are the best. Montreal is one of the best convention centers and offers some of the best food in the world (only the top of the Space Needle in Seattle beats Montreal for restaurant meal quality).
      • 8 Years Ago
      Finally Audi plattforms go away from VW owner and fit their real necessities: more sporty cars to compete face to face with BMW A5 will be the starting point, and if the esthetics go in the same way as Geneve Nuvolari proto, it will work
      • 7 Years Ago
      there is going to be no new A3 convertible, and the spy shots were from the S6, dont believe everything they tell you. Car sites and mags very very often make things up to get people excited. (Audi insider)
      • 8 Years Ago
      HughJazz,

      Try to tell that to the French Canadians. Nice use of insults though. "Dipshit" isn't exactly one I'd pick for an errant hyphen, but you used it with aplomb.

      Back to the matter at hand, I'd like to echo what some have said about this topic before. The Audi lineup is getting considerably more exciting than BMW or Mercedes. It may be an x-factor, as many of the specifications are similar, but the appeal of Audi has grown on me in leaps and bounds, while BMW and Mercedes have certainly lost the same appeal.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I thought the whole point of the new 3 series coupe/convertivle was that it was now to compete with the CLK and A5? And, does this mean that the upcoming A3 convertible will replace the bottom end of the A4 cabriolet's line?
      • 8 Years Ago
      The engine is not going behind the front axle.
      The front axle is moving forward. The firewall shouldn't change unless audi decides to move the steering rack & battery.

      I hope the 3.1 V6 gets the Audi VTEC (audi valvelift system), Audi is trailing the BMW N54, the toyota 2gr-fse, and nissan VQ35HR. The Roadjet had 295hp, but was a smidge larger displacement & no dual length intake manifold.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Audis with BMW proportions would look absolutely KILLER!! Do it, Audi!
      • 8 Years Ago
      The key difference between the new A5 and the rest of Audi's lineup is that the engine will now be placed behind the front axle.

      Hmmm, words almost seem to spring prophetic; I posted the following just days before in the R8 Autoblog entry:

      "Certainly with exceptions noted (e.g. Ferrari Enzo), long front overhangs are more about packaging for the powertrain in a FWD configuration (typical Audi practice, especially look closely at the TT). Sorry if my growing disdain for long-front-overhang cars is showing... to me, a Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano is an exercise in design beauty. There, almost the entire length of the engine lies behind the front wheels.
      One day perhaps auto designers and engineers will revisit the Citroën DS19 paradigm of placing the engine BEHIND the front wheels in a FWD layout. So much nicer appearance, better weight distribution and vehicle dynamics. IMHO."

      This is a positive design paradigm for Audi, and demonstrates Audi's leadership in FWD/AWD development. Now let's see if another one of my predictions come true: Audi will come out with a flat-crank V8 and
      7-speed DSG within 2 years. You read it here first. :)
      • 8 Years Ago
      Behind the front Axle? Sweet! That means we'll see a longer hood, or a more swept windshield... something less cab-forward and really agressive!
      • 8 Years Ago
      HughJazz, Thats funny. Have you been to Quebec? Or maybe you are from that "French-Canada" area where everything anglophone offends you. :)
      au revoir mon ami
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